Wisdom from Reagan during tough negotiations
In his autobiography, Ronald Reagan writes that sometimes he was willing to compromise if he could get seventy-five or eighty percent of what he wanted.
When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn't like it. "Compromise" was a dirty word to them and they wouldn't face the fact that we couldn't get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don't get it all, some said, don't take anything. (p. 170)
I'd learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: "I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average."
If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that is what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it. (p. 171)
Reagan's opposition came from Democrats, but it also came from his right flank, whom he calls "radical conservatives." Unfortunately, Washington is so polarized that Trump and Ryan cannot reach out to Democrats. Are the Freedom Caucus willing to get a percentage of what they want, or is their position 100% do or die?